Date of Award

Fall 12-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Steven W. Rick


The presence of charge transfer (CT) interactions is clear in a variety of systems. In CT, some electron density is shifted from one molecule to another (non-bonded) molecule. The importance of this CT interaction is unclear. Previous attempts to look at the conse- quences of CT required the use of ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD), a computationally intensive method. Herein, a method for including CT in force field (FF) simulations is described. It is efficient, produces charges in agreement with AIMD, and prevents long- ranged CT.

This CT MD method has been applied to monatomic ions in water. When solvated, ions do not have an integer charge. Anions give up some electron density to their ligands, and cations receive some electron density from their ligands. In bulk, the first solvation shell does not compensate for all CT, i.e. the charge is not smeared out over the first solvation shell. Rather, some charge is also found in the second solvation shell and further into the bulk. The charge of the first solvation shell depends on the balance between ion-water and water-water CT. When an interface is present, the charge outside of the second solvation shell will reside at the interface. This occurs even when the ion is over 15 Å away from the surface. The effect of long-ranged CT is mediated by changes in the hydrogen bonding patterns in water induced by the ions (not direct CT from the ions to distant waters).

The model has also been applied to water’s ‘‘self-ions’’ hydronium and hydroxide. Trajectories from the multi-state empirical valence bond model (MS-EVB3) are analyzed. The differences between monatomic and molecular ions are explored. The direction of CT and the effect of hydrogen bonding with the ion are considered.

The damping of CT as ligands are added is discussed and a method to improve the MD model, in order to account for damping, is proposed.


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